This chapter begins by discussing the influential sociological contributions of symbolic interactionists George Herbert Mead and Charles Horton Cooley, and then focuses on the more contemporary work of Erving Goffman and Arlie Hochschild. Given the focus on small-scale social relations, symbolic-interactionist theorists, such as Goffman, Anselm Strauss, and Howard Becker, reject a ‘grand theory’ that orders the world—in contrast to the sociology of Marx, Weber, and Durkheim. The chapter discusses the ideas of Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton and the perspective of structural functionalism, which rose to prominence in the mid-twentieth century. This is followed by a discussion of feminist perspectives, focusing on the work of Dorothy Smith and Sylvia Walby. The chapter then turns to postmodern social theory, particularly the work of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, and briefly discusses queer theory before exploring the contemporary theories of Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck, Manuel Castells, George Ritzer, Pierre Bourdieu, Zygmunt Bauman, and Raewyn Connell.